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Sam P.K. Collins

Stories by Sam P.K.

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Candlelight Vigil Honors the Charleston Nine

Two days after the shooting at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, hundreds stood with candles in hand vigil at the African American Civil War Memorial in Northwest as they honored the lives of the group now known as the "Charleston Nine."

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Teacher Continues Fight for Music Education

When Keith Killgo first walked through the doors of Anacostia Senior High School nine years ago, he knew he had much work ahead of him.

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Con Artists Devising New Ways to Scam D.C. Residents

Identity theft, investment fraud and scams rob millions of Americans of their hard-earned money every year.

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Baltimoreans Create Movement Built to Last

In the days after civil unrest in Baltimore overtook the news coverage on the mysterious death of Freddie Gray, Baltimoreans redoubled their effort to show what Charm City is really about.

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Dick Gregory Wows Audience at D.C. Fundraiser

Dick Gregory, one of black America's seasoned funny men, didn't mince words during a recent gathering at a local hair salon, lambasting the mainstream media and blacks who unwittingly believe everything newscasters tell them.

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Online Directory Highlights Black-Owned Businesses

For entrepreneur Vernon Davis, exposing D.C. metropolitan area consumers to the bevy of black-owned businesses in the region and beyond has become a revolutionary act.

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Building Development Industry Titans Honored

Hundreds of entrepreneurs and real estate developers celebrated the achievements of their colleagues during an annual awards ceremony in a premier hotel located in the heart of a thriving D.C. neighborhood.

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Comcast Employees Lead School Cleanup

Hundreds of employees of a major broadcasting and cable company gave a local school a makeover during an event that attracted an intergenerational group of D.C. residents.

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Community Discusses Strategies for Education of Black Boys

If young men of color are to successfully navigate a school system not designed for them, it will take the consistent and concerted efforts of family and community members, members of a panel concluded during a recent forum at a local center.

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Jamaican Shapes Meaning of Reggae Revival

Dutty Bookman has stood on the front lines of the Reggae Revival, what some consider the largest contemporary arts driven social movement in Jamaica. Since the turn of the decade, the author and activist has ruminated, openly and in solitude about the era, providing some insight into how some Jamaican youth have found true knowledge of self through music and other forms of artistic expression.

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Informer Staff Lead Conversation on Future of Black Press

Black Press Week ended on a reflective and optimistic note for the dozens of newspaper publishers, community members, journalists and photographers who gathered in the historic gymnasium of the Thurgood Marshall Center in Northwest on Friday.

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Black Women Unite at Local Conference

Hundreds of activists, business owners, artists, and educators from around the D.C. metropolitan area and across the United States closed Women's History Month at an event during which they immersed themselves in African-centered studies, culture, food and dance as part of an effort to raise awareness around issues affecting women of the Diaspora.

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All-Black Fashion Show Breaks the Mold

A recent fashion show that featured black models, designers, and musical talent also allowed a trio of local businesses to collaborate and present forms of art, music, fashion that's endemic to D.C.'s flourishing millennial artist population.

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'Whites Only' Unearths Hard Truths about Race

Throughout the month of March, Kymone Freeman has performed "Whites Only" for audiences at local Bus Boys & Poets restaurants with the hopes of bringing the play to the Mosaic Theater Company of DC in Northeast later this year.

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N.O.B.E.L. Women Exposes Local Girls to STEM Field

A crash course in web development, conversations with movers and shakers in the tech industry, and computer games made for a fun-filled and informative morning at a local community center during the latter part of last month.

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Civil War Exhibit Focuses On Families

More than century after the historic population boom, Washingtonians and people from around the country have a chance to revisit history and commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with the Smithsonian Institution.

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Young DJ Making Strides Forward

Very few young people have an idea of what career they want to pursue by the time they reach the age of 18. But for Bernard Brooks III, a local star who's known as DJ Young Music, mixing tunes and entertaining crowds have been a calling that he answered long before puberty.

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Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee: Love Personified

New Film Explores Couple's Relationship, Activism

For more than 50 years, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee wowed audiences on the silver screen and fervently railed against institutional racism in the academy and other facets of American society while maintaining a healthy marriage and taking care of a growing family.

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Local Black-Owned Salon Survives Gentrification

Veteran beautician and business owner Wanda Henderson defied the odds last summer when she reopened her salon and spa in a newly erected mixed-use development along Seventh Street in the Shaw neighborhood in Northwest.

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Poet Inspires Other Women of Color

Performing spoken word has always served as a cathartic experience for Liz Acevedo.

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Eight Local Trailblazers Recognized at Award Ceremony

A group of local pioneers received honors for their longtime efforts to meet some of the District's most pressing needs during an award ceremony at a newly renovated community center.

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Johnny Britt Kicks Off National Tour

Singer Pays Tribute to Marvin Gaye

For more than two decades, renowned singer, trumpeter and producer Johnny Britt has serenaded audiences across the United States and around the world with his songs about the complexity of love and the trials that his listeners may experience.

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Charity Dance Competition Hailed a Success

Some of the District's movers and shakers showcased their dance skills and raised thousands of dollars in contributions during a contest at a historic venue that drew hundreds of people.

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Millennials Lead 'Black Out' During MLK Holiday

Members of local philanthropic organization Capital Cause put Martin Luther King's ideas into action during a "Black Out" that took place earlier this week during the annual holiday commemorating the late civil rights leader's birth.

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Ward 4 Council Race Wide Open

With the race to elect the next Ward 4 D.C. Council member well underway, it remains to be seen who among more than dozen prospective candidates will fill D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's old seat on April 28.

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D.C. Mayor Gray Gives Final Address

A visibly content Vincent Gray recently delivered his final address as city executive before friends, family, colleagues, and loyal supporters at his newly revitalized alma mater.

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Police, Community Members Meet Amid Controversy

For months, Cherri Branson asked county officials to reveal the findings of an investigation into allegations of excessive force on a Germantown, Maryland, teenager. Her efforts, however, have remained futile because of a rule that protects such information.

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Marion Barry, D.C.'s 'Mayor for Life,' Feted by Residents, Community Leaders at Memorial Service

Thousands of people from across the D.C. metropolitan area braved the bitter cold, heavy rain and long lines Friday to pay their final respects to Marion S. Barry Jr., D.C.'s "mayor for life."

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Group Combats Homelessness with 'Blessing Bags'

A local nonprofit continued its efforts to provide members of a vulnerable population with the bare essentials during an event that raised thousands of dollars in donations.

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Millennials Brunch for a Cause

Hundreds of young professionals to donate nearly 300 pounds of winter clothing this week as a part of an effort to help a vulnerable population and raise awareness about an increasingly visible problem.

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Mother's Tea Unites Victims' Families, Community

More than 100 community members, church leaders, and elected officials participated in the Mother’s Tea, an annual program to unite mothers of homicide victims and those who have perpetrated acts of violence.

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Local Nonprofit Accepts Young Fathers

Since 2010, Generation Hope has supported more than 40 teen mothers striving to complete college and enter the career fields of their choice. But this fall, fathers too will enjoy the Northwest-based nonprofit's offerings.

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GWU Students, Faculty Discuss Ferguson

More than 100 students, faculty members, administrators, and parents who gathered in GWU's Funger Hall last week to delve into topics of race, class, and justice during an event touted as "Framing Ferguson: A Panel and Audience Discussion."

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Fans Celebrate Chuck Brown's 'Beautiful Life'

With the release of his newest studio album, fans have another chance to honor and remember the "Godfather of Go-Go" two years after his death.

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Girls Get Royal Treatment

They didn’t wear glass slippers or ride in golden carriages but dozens of youngsters received spa treatments befitting a princess during a gathering at a local salon.

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Festival Celebrates African Music, Culture

Thousands of people immersed themselves in the music, food and art of the Motherland last weekend during the DC Africa Festival, an annual celebration of Washington D.C.'s growing African community.

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Young Ballers Showcase Skills at Annual DCHA Tournament

Fast breaks, fadeaway jumpers, lay-ups, and the shrill sound of whistles made for an action-packed weekend at a local high school in June.

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Festival Reacquaints Residents with Kennedy Street

More than 100 people strolled last weekend along the Kennedy Street corridor in Northwest where they talked with business owners, sampled a variety of foods, purchased ethnic jewelry, and danced in the streets to the sounds of live jazz, R&B, and hip-hop.

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DCTV Celebrates 25 Years

During the latter part of June, more than 700 DCTV members, aspiring television producers and District residents converged on the grounds of the Brooks Mansion, DCTV's headquarters in Northeast, to celebrate its efforts to give community members a platform to express their opinions.

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D.C. Housing Expo Attracts First-Time Homebuyers

For a day, the District's convention center morphed into a one-stop shop for residents eager to purchase a new home, get interior design tips or talk to mortgage brokers.

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Garden Expands Healthy Food Options in Northeast Community

The debate about obesity has long focused on individual eating habits. In recent years, national programs and initiatives, such as first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, have encouraged Americans to adopt healthier lifestyles.

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Howard U. Students Connect with Community

A group of students left the safety and comfort of their college campus and sparked discussions with local residents last weekend in an effort to strengthen ties with the community.

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Parents Protest PTSA President's Ouster

A group of disgruntled parents converged on the front steps of a Northeast high school last week to protest proposed boundary changes, school closures and attempts by administrators to abolish parent associations.

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Seniors Discuss Community Concerns

Walks Throughout District Focus on Likes, Dislikes

Yolanda Fell checks on friends, picks up trash, and jots down neighbors' concerns during walks around her neighborhood. Although she considers her weekly routine a part of her civic duty, Fell said that her efforts have gone unnoticed by District agencies in recent months.

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Seniors Complete Program, Win Scholarships

Justice Sonia Sotomayor Attends College Bound Ceremony

A local nonprofit handed out thousands of dollars in scholarships to a group of students during a ceremony at a prestigious theatrical venue last week.

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Film, Discussion Examines College Access

Today, a college education has become a necessity in an ever increasing information-based society. However, students from working-class families often find it difficult to navigate the complex application process and secure scholarships that make college a possibility.

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Volunteers Spruce Up Shepherd Parkway

A group of more than a dozen volunteers collected nearly a ton of trash and moved closer to restoring a local park to its former glory during a service project last weekend.

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Discussion Highlights Issues in the Black Community

Incendiary comments by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling about African Americans have shaken up the sports world in recent weeks and sparked conversations about race around water coolers and in living rooms around the country.

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Thousands Sample Passport DC 2014

Thousands Sample Passport DC 2014

For the past two weekends, perhaps as many as 30,000 people have trooped to more than 50 embassies along the celebrated “Embassy Row” in Northwest to immerse themselves in the art, history, culture and cuisine of places many may never actually visit.

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Conga Player Reflects on Storied Career

His name has become synonymous with go-go.

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